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New Belgium Brewing’s Lost in the Woods Celebrates La Folie in (NYC) Style

New Belgium
Jaclyn Menendez

Where in the world can you find beautiful people in cutting-edge fashion, bodegas overflowing with your favorite junk food, and giant sentient rats eating pizza? Usually I’d say only in New York, but this past weekend, that answer got updated to include New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colorado. New Belgium’s annual Lost in the Woods party brought the Big Apple to the snowy mountains this year, and the result was a bustling bash that channeled all the best parts of Manhattan without that tangy subway smell.

Photo courtesy of Taylor Humby, Brand Digital Content Manager at New Belgium Brewing

Lost in the Woods is a celebration of La Folie, New Belgium’s famous sour brown ale. Every year a new batch is released, and while it’s made under the same conditions each time (aged in oversized French oak wine barrels, called foeders), each iteration has its own unique flavor profile and subtleties. To kick off each year’s release, New Belgium throws Lost in the Woods (the “woods” being a play on their Foeder Forest, which is the nickname for where the foeder barrels reside onsite). The theme of the party changes every year, but its heart is always a celebration of all things sour: special new Sour Beer releases are unveiled, unlimited pours are offered, and bottles of the newest La Folie are handed out at the end of the night. From the long list of special sours this year, a crowd favorite was Buddhacello, New Belgium’s lemony golden sour twist on a limoncello cocktail: it was crazy refreshing and perfect for the dance floor.

Photo courtesy of Taylor Humby, Brand Digital Content Manager at New Belgium Brewing

For 2023, Lost in the Woods went bold with an “Empire State of Mind” theme. Not unlike their lauded Tour de Fat bicycle festival in the fall, the theme is always interpreted rather loosely by partygoers: some people take it literally, some people ignore it, and some people get real weird with it. This year we saw several Statues of Liberty, a few human taxis, one Pigeon Lady from Home Alone 2 (with pigeons in tow), a lot of rats, and a fair amount of high fashion that would’ve given Kylie Jenner a run for her money.

Photo courtesy of Taylor Humby, Brand Digital Content Manager at New Belgium Brewing

Of course, even when the guests take a liberal approach to the theme, New Belgium never fails to stick the landing with its decorations and employee costumes. This year’s standout was a real live bodega: a fully-stocked convenience store, run by a giant hot dog, where everything was free. Partygoers flocked to the corner store to “buy” slices of pizza, more rounds of beer, or any number of sundries; we saw everything from giant containers of pork rinds, to shaving cream and razors, to Oreos, to laundry detergent. There was even a (fake) sleeping cat guarding the candy aisle. On a night full of highlights, the bodega stood out as a symbol of why New Belgium remains so special: it was absurdly creative, perfectly executed, and just plain cool.

Photo courtesy of Taylor Humby, Brand Digital Content Manager at New Belgium Brewing

Lost in the Woods is always at the top of our list for beer events, and this year was no exception. From the dancing, to the décor, to the unbridled joy radiating out from employees as they party alongside you, it’s a mesmerizing night where you feel like anything could happen. After all, this is New York.


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